Are you ready for Part Two of a new series where we pick our co-founder’s brains? It’s time for Doryan to make a special monthly appearance and share some Procreate love.
In our last installment, we focused on five basic tips to help with your workflow. Today, we’re going to focus on masks. Is it a coincidence that Halloween is just around the corner?
Masks are fantastic tools; they can change up your appearance quickly–and they can do the same for your drawings! Clipping masks, layer masks, and alpha lock will be the main focus of this blog post.
Incorporating Procreate masks in your work increases your creativity, improves your workflow, and makes your work look better! Let’s find out how to use them. You’re in for a treat!
Why use masks?
Masking in Procreate gives you the ability to cover or conceal part of an image. Best of all, unlike an eraser, a mask layer is a non-destructive way of manipulating a drawing quickly. You can reverse or edit changes you’ve made on the fly.
Using Alpha Lock in Procreate
We touched on Alpha lock in our last installment. Alpha Lock allows you to draw within a shape’s boundaries by locking a layer’s transparency. Once you lock a layer, you can only draw inside what already exists. It’s an easy way to change a layer’s fill color. We also love to use it to block off an area and use texture brushes to shade.
You can use a gesture to activate Alpha Lock—swipe right with two fingers on your canvas. The modifier applies to the layer you are currently in. You can also activate Alpha Lock by opening the Layers menu and tapping on a layer. The display menu will pop up, allowing you to select Alpha Lock. Once Alpha Lock is activated, you will see a checkerboard background appear in the thumbnail layer.
Let’s walk through the process with Doryan. He selects his canvas size and then begins by blocking out a shape in a new layer.
Doryan’s Pro Tip: "If you’re using Alpha Lock, always make a copy of your original layer, so you have a backup copy handy — you can always delete the copy when you’re ready to commit."